UKTV signs first product placement deal

By Maisie McCabe, mediaweek.co.uk, Tuesday, 07 June 2011 11:10AM

UKTV, the digital TV broadcaster, has signed its first ever product placement deal with Brightsolid-owned Findmypast.co.uk, for a new commission.

Yesterday: commissions its longest series to date

Yesterday: commissions its longest series to date

The 10-episode series will be co-funded by Findmypast.co.uk. The show is named after the family history site 'Find My Past', which will have front of screen exposure.

The deal also includes sponsor titles and end credits, branding at the beginning and end of ad breaks and Findmypast.co.uk branding on all online activity and marketing material.

The series will premiere in the fourth quarter and will focus on how three otherwise unrelated members of the public are linked to historically well-known events, such as the evacuation of Dunkirk or the sinking of the Titanic.

John Robertson, marketing director of Brightsolid Online Publishing, said: "Connecting people and places is at the heart of our business, so this investigative, historical format with a gripping human interest storyline is a natural fit.

"As a company with pioneering family history brands, we're very exciting to be leading the way in advertising funded programming."

The show will be produced by Lion Television. A UKTV spokeswoman said as well as being its first product placement deal the series is also the longest Yesterday has commissioned to date and has the largest budget.

Sally Quick, head of commercial partnerships at UKTV, said: "Findmypast.co.uk already has a strong commercial association with us as Yesterday's main sponsor, so finding and developing a fresh genealogy TV format to co-fund has been a natural next step.

"Born out of what was originally an AFP deal, Find My Past offers Brightsolid the perfect product placement opportunity as we’re able to seamlessly integrate its websites into the content via interactive exposure by the contributors themselves."

UKTV is jointly owned by Virgin Media and BBC Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm. It owns 10 TV channels including free-to-air channels Dave and Yesterday and eight pay-TV channels, such as Watch and Good Food.

Brightsolid is part of Beano publisher DC Thomson. Brightsolid bought Friends Reunited from ITV for £25m in 2010 after the deal was cleared by a Competition Commission investigation.

This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk

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